May 16th, 2013, by Margie Doyle
We’re here because of you!
Do you find Orcas Issue helpful and informative? Do you value responsible, in-depth journalism? We need your financial assistance to continue to provide daily online news and opinions that are important to our quality of life and personal responsibilities in the San Juan Islands. We’re only here because you keep us here.
If you value the consistent, clear and conscientious news provided by Orcas Issues, please consider writing a generous check to “Orcas Issues” at PO Box 582, Eastsound WA 98245, or authorizing a contribution through PayPal on the Orcas Issues “Become a Supporter” page.
Contributors of over $100 will be invited to a special presentation this summer.
Thank you for your continued support!
Margie Doyle, Publisher, Editor Orcas Issues, News and Views
March 6th, 2013, by Margie Doyle
The view from Turtleback by Will Fisher
From the San Juan Preservation Trust
Young Orcas Island native Will Fisher has set his sights on a career as a professional photographer and videographer, so his 2012 internship with the San Juan Preservation Trust was a perfect fit.
Fisher, 19, graduated last spring from the photography program at the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. He has spent the past several months roaming the San Juan Islands with his camera, capturing the natural beauty of the Preservation Trust’s conserved lands. His internship took him to several outer islands and remote properties, but his final assignment brought him back home to Orcas to promote the protection of a place that is near to his heart: Turtleback Mountain.
In late 2012, the Preservation Trust launched an effort to purchase a 111-acre property that separates the Turtleback Mountain Preserve from the Trust’s lesser-known Turtlehead Preserve and create a new public trail that connects these three properties. Until now, the Turtlehead Preserve – with its spectacular wildflowers, native grasslands, windswept forests and 360 views of surrounding islands – has been surrounded by private land and inaccessible to the public.
With almost $1.2 million of this $1.3 million project already raised, the Preservation Trust, with Will’s help, hopes its “Campaign to Complete Turtleback Mountain” can identify the remaining $105,000 needed to complete this effort.
To provide a glimpse of what few have ever seen, Fisher made several trips up Turtlehead over a four month period, bushwhacking his way across the planned trail route. “I’ve been exploring Turtlehead since I was a kid, so this was a great opportunity to share this amazing place with others,” said Will. “I hope that my video will inspire other islanders to help the Preservation Trust make this place accessible for everyone. We must help preserve the single most beautiful living thing – Nature — if not for ourselves, then for the generations to come. If we don’t, it will simply vanish.”
The result is a fast-paced, 2-minute video that transports viewers from the Turtleback Mountain Preserve to Turtlehead. To join Will on his virtual tour, visit www.sjpt.org. You may also see several of Will’s still photos of Turtleback Mountain and Turtlehead Preserve at www.willafisher.com.
Founded in 1979, the San Juan Preservation Trust (www.sjpt.org) is a nationally accredited private, non-profit and membership-based land trust dedicated to helping people and communities conserve land in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. The Preservation Trust has permanently protected more than 260 properties, 37 miles of shoreline and 15,000 acres on 20 islands, including land now managed as public parks, nature preserves, wildlife habitat, and working farms and forests.
March 20th, 2012, by Brigid Ehrmantraut
By Brigid Ehrmantraut
The annual Funhouse Commons Science Fair will be held this Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. The Funhouse Commons will host exciting Science Projects presented by students of all ages. For the sixth year in a row, the fair will be offering $2,000 in scholarships to the top High School/Middle School projects. To download an application, click here
Cadence Kraayeveldt powers up the ever popular giant bubble machine at the 2011 Science Fair
March is a busy month. Many people are finding themselves without much spare time on their hands, and on top of that seasonal colds are going around. However, this hasn’t stopped some hardworking students from preparing projects for the Funhouse’s annual Science Fair on March 24. This year’s theme? Science is a Blast! Explosions!
Two Orcas High School Juniors are taking this to heart. Despite repeated warnings from a slightly dubious Chemistry teacher, Garett Pietsch and Chase Drake are building a cannon. And firing it. How exactly? Well, you better come to the Science Fair to find out….
They are not the only members of local science classes to get involved. Some classes are offering extra credit for entering, others just for signing up. Potential subjects are as far ranging as ‘What happens when you drop pure sodium metal (Na) in water (H2O)?’ (a Chemistry student’s idea), ‘Does the color of your clothing affect your test performance?’ (a freshman in Biology), ‘How do you build solar cells?’ (an eighth grader), and ‘Just what is it about artificial robots and animation that creeps some people out?’
Well, that last one was supposed to be my project…. But like I said, March is a busy month. And my project partner caught pneumonia, so it might have to wait until next year to become fully realized.
But do not let this dissuade you; this year should see plenty of interesting entries. Especially in the upper age levels where first, second, and third place scholarships are available. Read more…
August 22nd, 2011, by Brigid Ehrmantraut
Brigid Ehrmantraut and Pygmy Goat Caprica as Space Aliens in the 2011 Costume Contest
By Brigid Ehrmantraut
Saturday was the final day of the 2011 San Juan County Fair. Some of the last-day events included the 4-H Livestock Auction, Small Animal Round Robin, and the 4-H Awards Ceremony.
The 2011 Livestock Auction probably holds the record for most animals turned back to be resold to directly support the 4-H program. William Patterson of Chimayo Restaurant in Eastsound bought the first ever San Juan County Fair Market Goat and will be serving it up soon.
Orcas 4-H members who participated in the Small Animal Round Robin (where the winners of each small animal project compete against each other by showing all the small animals for approximately two minutes before rotating to the next critter) included Wylie Kau, Kelsey Guyer, and Brigid Ehrmantraut. Sabrina Bailey also qualified but was not available to participate. The overall Small Animal Round Robin Highpoint Belt Buckle Award went to Brigid Ehrmantraut.
Many trophy recipients at the 4-H Awards Ceremony hailed from Orcas as well. Horse 4-H members Hannah Brunner-Gaydos, Daria Stankevich, Dana Sabine, Tara Dobos, Emma Minnis, Katelyn Minnis, Hailey Crowe, and Miette Woolworth were well represented.
So were small animal and still life members Halle Thompson, Brigid Ehrmantraut, Kelsey Guyer (who won the prestigious Harold Kjargaard Memorial Award with San Juan Islander Hanifah McGovern and was nominated for the equally impressive Pomona Grange Leadership Award), Camryn Thompson, and Martha Lum. Orcas Islander Grace Thompson was recognized for her 2010 Overall 4-H Highpoint Award too.
Paris Wilson, Sabrina Bailey and Camryn Thompson with the Grand Championship award for their origial dance
Paris Wilson, Sabrina Bailey, and Camryn Thompson prepared an original dance., and won the Grand Champion award for Performance Art in their age division.
Those student in grades K-12 who may be interested in joining 4-H in the coming year, shoul contact Orcas Island Leader Kathy Morris or Program Coordinator Cindy Gauthier (phone: 360-370 7662, or email: email@example.com).
July 1st, 2011, by Brigid Ehrmantraut
Sabrina Bailey & Cavy. Photo Courtesy of Paris Wilson.
By Brigid Ehrmantraut
Lazy days of summer? Not for the the small animal 4-H clubs of Orcas and Shaw Islands, who are getting their projects, from bunnies to baking, ready to show at the San Juan County Fair.
The Fair will run from August 17 to 20 this year and the Orcas Island Fur & Feathers 4-H Club started preparing in full swing at its latest meeting on June 21. Actually, the members have been working on their animal and still life (anything that isn’t alive; i.e. baking, photography, sewing, crafts, etc.) projects since the end of August last year; however, at their last meeting, the kids’ main focus was on “fitting and showing” their pets and livestock.
Fitting and showing consists partially of handling and exhibiting an animal to a judge. This can entail flipping a chicken upside-down to reveal the keel or breast bone, illustrating the proper method of carrying and turning a rabbit, finding the gender of a guinea pig, and more.
But this is not all…. A 4-H showman must also answer the judge’s questions about 4-H information (example: What do the four H’s stand for? Head, heart, hands, and health), as well as specific project-related ones ranging from animal breeds to diseases/health problems to anatomy to commercial uses and back again.
June 3rd, 2011, by Brigid Ehrmantraut
At the launch. Photo Courtesy of Paul Evans
By Brigid Ehrmantraut
The Orcas Island High School Applied Physics class proudly displayed the culmination of their efforts at a morning assembly on Thursday, June 2nd. The class, taught by Brett McFarland, has been working to build their solar-powered umiak since the beginning of the 2010-11 school year.
The entire boat was made by hand without the use of any power tools.
While presenting the Applied Physics accomplishment to the High School, Mr. McFarland stated with glee:
“For the rest of the year, we’re going to paddle around in it.”
During the assembly, most students in the class gave a short three- to five-minute speech about specific aspects of the project they worked on and thought were particularly interesting. Topics ranged from oar making (each oar was hand crafted–starting from a block of wood), to lashing the ribs together, to constructing floor boards.
Among the many presenters, Lee Gibbons talked about sharpening all the hand tools each class, Rhys Thompson spoke on the process of wiring up the boat’s three batteries, and Juan Diaz-Alvarez informed the audience about oar making and the difficulties he overcame while learning English as he worked on the project.
The Applied Physics class was assisted in their efforts by Marilyn Storey’s 5th graders, and numerous adult islanders who donated materials and time to the enterprise.
While tthe batteries are solar-powered in theory, one student stated that the class had calculated it would take thirteen hours on a perfectly sunny day to completely charge all three of the umiak’s batteries.
After the class spoke about constructing the boat, they showed a video of pictures and brief movie snippets to illustrate their hard work.
In the afternoon, the Applied Physics class demonstrated their creation actually floated!
Many other High School students went to watch the launching of the boat at 1:30 p.m. Unfortunately, a few teachers would not let their third period classes go observe and encourage fellow classmates. This lead to significant dissatisfaction in the student body and poor attendance in these classes.
(Thanks to Paul Evans for donating the above picture as this reporter was too engrossed in the morning presentation to remember to take any photos and she was unable to attend the launch.)
May 28th, 2011, by Margie Doyle
With all the hullabaloo associated with building construction, permits, approvals, zoning, EPRC recommendations, ADU’s, Growth Management, and all the other ‘stuff’ we constantly hear about new buildings and development, how about an idea that goes the other way?
Barry Madan has a brilliant idea, in my opinion: tear down Vern’s Bayside and turn the space into open waterfront viewing and community art. Well, to be honest, I added in the part about community art – Barry suggests we ask the Land Bank to purchase Vern’s, tear it down, clean up the site, and turn it back into the scenic spot it was decades ago, before all the construction. We are constricting and limiting the best thing about Eastsound – a world-class view down the Sound to the south.
Visitors don’t really come here to enter row upon row of shops, they can probably do that where they live. They come for the views and the vistas, and possibly a glimpse of the past. Let’s give it to them! That is what I would call progress.
August 14th, 2010, by Margie Doyle
Orcas Issues, News & Views (BullWings) is planning another advance in Community Journalism — we invite you to contribute directly to this online news service!
Orcas Issues (BullWings) is based on two principles:
- Involving the community in transmitting information for the common good
- Adhering to the standards of American journalism: objectivity, accuracy, independence, and the identification of opinions as such
In the more than four years since its inception, rcas Issues has grown, thanks in great part to those of you who have contributed ideas, articles, and opinions that promote the common good of civil discussion and widespread information among our community.
We now want to make it easier – and more responsible – to contribute to this news service.
Here’s how you can become an active part of the local news:
- Click on the sign-up link and then fill out and send the registration form.
- After we confirm your identity, we will email you everything you need to know to start posting news items.
- Your story will be reviewed within 24 hours by Orcas Issues Editors and then published on the site.
Any questions? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org
And send in your stories!
To see how simple the basics of journalism are, click here.
October 1st, 2009, by Margie Doyle
Bullwings Editor Margie Doyle will be leading a discussion about “Community Journalism” at the Oct. 10 Writers Roundtable. The evolution, characteristics, responsibilities and delivery of journalism — daily news — will be addressed.
Margie Doyle has spent over two decades in the journalism profession. She has reported for and/or edited community newspapers such as the Kodiak Daily Mirror, the Everett Herald, and the New Times, as well as for trade journals such as Northwest Gourmet, magazines including Seattle and Yes! magazines and newsletters such as the Orcas Library “Bookworm” and “Port Gamble Publishing Newsletter.”
Most recently she was employed by Sound Publishing as Editor of the Islands Sounder from 2006 to 2008.
February 24th, 2009, by Margie Doyle
My life as a journalist began with reading the funny pages on the living room floor and Time magazines from the World War II-era in my father’s basement study. Even as a kid, the funny pages gave a “don’t be so serious” lift to my day while the Time magazines informed my world with serious tales of global importance — and tragedy.
I remember the day, as a nine-year-old child reading the front page of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, that I saw a photograph of a high-heel shoe on top of a restaurant dining table, a picture from the Algerian War. The photo caught my imagination – how could war happen in a restaurant?
Then along came the Vietnam War and journalism via daily televised broadcasts brought the war into our living room, like those of thousands of Americans. With the release of and subsequent lawsuit over the publication of the Pentagon Papers, it was obvious that even in America, freedom of the press needed to be defended.
The war was still raging when the scandal of Watergate broke, courtesy of the persistence and integrity of the press, and the excitement of justice finally prevailing may have been the high point of my youth. Read more…